Gordon Brown and Charlie Falconer have their say (pt. 3)

A third reply to my letter to my MP came today (incidentally, there are brand new Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath letterheads!). This one came with a copy of a letter from unelected Charlie Lord Falconer of Thoroton.

I don’t think there’s a real groundswell for change,” he once said regarding making my vote count. In my letter, after the initial “thank you for your letter” shite, he said:

Regarding Mr Stephen’s first concern [making my vote count], I can confirm that an internal review is currently underway within my Department, which will review the new electoral systems introduced for the devolved administrations, the European Parliament and the London Assembly. This review is at an early stage, and decisions regarding any next steps for the review will be taken in due course.

The government still maintains that a referendum remains the right way to agree any change for Westminster.

All fair enough, and it will be interesting to find out what the report makes of the current electoral systems used (particularly AMS).

Now the second bit.

With regard to the issue of the West Lothian Question, the UK Parliament is responsible for matters that effect [shouldn’t that be affect?] the entire UK, including England. A fundamental principle of the UK Parliament is that all MPs have equal rights, and can therefore vote on any matter brought before them, whether they represent constituencies in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or England.

The vast majority of MPs are against removing this equality, with the House of Commons rejecting a motion in January 2004 which sought to prevent Scottish MPs from voting on matters which did not ostensibly effect Scotland, by 377 votes to 142.

Well that’s all fair enough aswell, because I also happen to think that all MPs should have equal rights. But that’s not what I asked. I asked about how they intended to tackle the problem, and I suggested an English Parliament just to help them along. But they ignored all that. Instead of telling me how they intend to tackle the West Lothian Question, they told me why they’re not choosing a particular way to tackle it.

I’m not too satisfied with that one, I have to say.


  1. strikingly similar to things I’ve received . Still listening, Tony? My version (still unreplied to) is here, with the latest reply from my MP here (I’ve drafted a reply to this). Comment upon ‘English Parliament and Electoral Reform’ [IMG Top of the British Blogs]

  2. The government still maintains that a referendum remains the right way to agree any change for Westminster.
    No mention of the fact we were promised one eight years ago then?
    Mind you, I suppose you should be grateful. I wrote to Blair the week after the election and Lord Falconer a couple of days after the “no groundswell” incident and I’ve yet to receive a word back from either.
    I was going to write to my MP but I though I’d wait and see if I could post the question to her new blog (if it ever appears).